Neil Fromm- Guitarist/Singer Songwriter
Neil started playing the guitar just for his own entertainment.
He started writing songs in the last ten years and has sixty plus
original songs. He writes about love (or the lack of it) and what
is going on in the world. His three biggest musical influences
are Stevie Ray Vaughn, ZZ Top, and Eric Clapton. Music is a
major place he turns to if he wants to escape the hassles and
confusion of reality. Neil has been devoting his time and
energy to writing and recording original music and performing
with the Hills Brothers Band for the past ten years.
Mike Rodriguez- Percussion
Mike has nearly thirty years of “live” on-stage drumming
experience. His musical training began at age 8 and continued
through his first year at college, studying alto sax, piano,
guitar, tap drums, timpani drums, and concert share drum.
During his professional career, he has performed with such
artists as Brad Gillis, Night Ranger, and Ozzy Osborne, Bill
Spooner of The Tubes, and Josh Ramos who was chosen to
replace Neil Schon in Journey.
Steve Foiada- Saxophone
Steve grew up in the small farming community of Patterson, in
California’s central valley. He began playing saxophone in 4th
grade, and played through 10th grade when the lure of football
won out over half time shows. The reality of being "slow and
small” soon won out, & he started playing again in college.
"Music is something you can do your whole life, and school
music programs need to be strongly supported".
Steve plays tenor and baritone saxophones, and occasionally
brings to soprano or alto to gigs. When not playing with the
Hills Bros Band, Steve & his wife Sue can be found playing
saxophone with the Columbia College Jazz Band or "The
Flashbacks", who are a 12-piece Big Band they play with and
Sista Wen lends her sultry voice to the vocal mix to provide a
tight, harmonic, balance. This will either mesmerize you in your
chair, or get you up on the dance floor to shake your bag 'o
bones to the rhythm.
She has been singing since the youthful age of 5, mostly for
family and friends, but she soon realized that when she sang,
She has sung in church choirs and over the years has
developed a keen sense of melody and vocal range.
She has been asked to sing "The National Anthem" on several
occasions, at the start of the local high school football games.
She uses her own life experiences to create "musical poems",
but she does admit that her full potential has yet to be
reached, in bringing her own vocal art to its peak in the band,
and continue to add that spicy, vocal flavor, that she is well
Wen listens to all kinds of music and some of her favorite
singers are: Carol King, Alanis Morissette, and Sheryl Crow...
just to name a few.
Jon Sepulveda- Songwriter, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Jon's musical experience dates back to 1963, when he learned
to play the piano. "I had to do this, since my mom was a piano
teacher". Since then, Jon's played drums, bass, and
keyboards, in various groups from Southern California, to the
Mother lode country, where he resides today.
In 1969, he first played drums in his brother’s folk band. His
desire to play the bass came in 1974, when he and 2 friends
formed a three-piece band called “Black Rose”. "In those days,
we would pretty much play tunes from the groups we listened
to on the radio, such as Cream, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, and
Deep Purple". For the next 10 years, Jon played in a variety of
improvisational bands for festivals, gatherings, and science
When Jon moved to Sonora, Ca. in 1987, it didn’t take long for
him to become involved with the music scene. After producing
“electronic synthesis ambient music” and soundtracks for some
local filmmakers, he realized a need to play “live” again. "The
feeling that comes from playing with good people, for an
appreciative audience, is nothing short of intense “oneness”.
He started playing keyboards with Vertigo, in 1991,and then
with The Generators in 1995. However, he longed to play bass
He met Neil Fromm in 1993, and they quickly discovered that
they both had music in they're veins and songs in they're
hearts. After a few incarnations, they formed the Hills Brothers
Band, also in 1995.
Jon's influences in this band come from the “old school” of
Rock and Roll. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, ‘60’s Soul,
The Doors, The Grateful Dead, and Pink Floyd, to name just a
few. This accounts for his songwriting style as well.
His simplistic approach and style to playing the bass with the
Hills Brothers Band, provides a solid, bottom-end groove,
whereby the other members can have the freedom to
communicate their musical expressions, and feel good about it!
After all, the bass player and the drummer have, quite
essentially, the same job.
Jon plays a custom bass. "It’s pretty much a hybrid of a fender
precision and jazz bass that I built myself". Jon plays through a
Hartke 5000 amp, which pumps the lows through a hartke xl
4x10 cabinet. For the smaller venues, he plays through a
David Eden 2x10 combo.
Well, that’s pretty much it.
Remember, you don’t quit playing because you grow old, you
grow old because you quit playing!
|Doug Casner- Lead Guitar/Vocals
Doug started playing electric around the age of 13 in garage
bands in Stockton, Ca., playing progressive rock and blues.
He started a band called "Shade", then shortly after that he
joined the Hills Brothers. "We've been providing the people in
the area with sweet sounds of Rock and Blues".
Doug was born in Stockton in 1970, growing up with pianos,
acoustics, and eventually electrics. He moved back and forth
from Stockton to Sonora over the years, improving his playing
in covers and originals that made people move, and of
course, listen. "I remember the days before I had an electric,
and how I used an old telephone pickup, connected to an old
funky guitar, and plugged it into my old stereo amp, and
thought it was the best thing in the world". In the garage days,
they used a large water jug as a bass drum. Hey, they even
recorded with it and got some interesting sounds. He even
saved the tapes from 20 years ago. "I still get a laugh from
listening to them. It was some bad-ass shit!" Experimentation
does have it's merits!
Doug's influences are SRV, Clapton, Joe Satriani, and Steve
Vai, just to name a few.
"I especially want to thank my fans, as it's great to see
everybody having a good time dancing, and always wanting to
stick around till the end of the show!"
|* In-Depth Bio's *